January 5, 2014

Sunday Operational Update

The combination of peak holiday return travel (where flights were full, leaving few rebooking options) plus the winter storm in the Northeast (where JetBlue has our major bases of operation) and new pilot scheduling rules (which result in pilots timing out more aggressively) have combined to significantly impact our operations. We have few options available, further hindered by incoming weather (icing conditions) in the Northeast.

We are working hard to reset the operation and get people where they’re going, but it will take days, not hours.

We ask that customers ensure their contact information is in their record so we can send updated flight information. If you booked directly with JetBlue, we more than likely have your information. If you didn’t book with JetBlue, we may not have your information, so we ask that you check the status of your flight online and call 800-JETBLUE(538-2583) to give us your contact information. The call center is experiencing very heavy call volume, resulting in long wait times to speak to an agent.
JetBlue is committed to operating safely; further cancellations are possible. We regret the impact to our customers.

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January 4, 2014

Repositioning

For most people, digging out after a snow storm is about brushing off the car, clearing the driveway, and making sure the roads are clear. For a 24/7 operation like an airline though, it can be a little more involved, and digging out is only the first step.

Operating a scheduled flight requires a delicate handoff of planes to rested pilots and inflight crewmembers able to work the flight. Delays or cancellations disrupt those handoffs placing crews or planes “out of position” for their flights. A flight from Fort Lauderdale to Austin becomes difficult to operate after a storm when the scheduled plane is in New York, a rested Inflight crew is ready to start their trip in Fort Lauderdale, and the pilots are delayed trying to get in from Rochester.

Getting those crews and planes into position without disrupting other crews and their scheduled flights is no easy task. We often need to cancel flights to “thin” the operation around an irregular operations day to make sure planes and crews are ‘reset’ just so we can start the next day fresh.

Fresh is the key word there. It may seem counter-intuitive to cancel a flight that seems able to operate, but our crews need to be rested in order to operate flights. When a pilot or inflight crewmember leaves for the airport, they’re on a timer. Once they time out, they need to leave and get some rest, whether they’re where they’re supposed to be or not. While disappointing, we’d rather cancel a flight before all the customers have gathered in the airport, and where we can be sure our crew can be ready to start fresh and rested.

Today, even in the midst of us repairing those schedules disrupted by this week’s winter storms, we’re facing an additional complication as new FAA rules go into effect for crew rest. These rules further impact our ability to operate an already disrupted schedule, causing our pilots to “time out” even sooner. As a result, additional cancellations are likely to occur as we work to reset the operation.

We understand the frustration this causes for our customers and will do everything we can to minimize the impact. Many travelers similarly find themselves “out of position” as already full holiday flights make it difficult to find immediate reaccommodation of canceled flights, and limited spare aircraft and crews make extra sections few and far between. If you’re scheduled to fly out on a trip today, we’d encourage you to look at our weather advisory for current information on our fee waivers, and if you still opt to travel, please check the status of your flight online prior to leaving for the airport.

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January 3, 2014

Friday Operations Update

The winter storm some are calling Hercules has passed, and our operations in the Northeast are beginning to stand back up. Just because the white stuff has stopped falling though, doesn’t mean the airports are done with it just yet.

Nearly 8 inches of snow fell at JFK, and 15 inches covers the field at Boston. It’ll take some time for all those runways and taxi-ways to be cleared, and light blowing snow will still impact visibility for airplanes taking off and landing. This unfortunately means until the airports are back to 100%, customers can still expect some delays and cancellations.  Our Chief Operating Officer, Rob Maruster took to the airwaves this morning himself to explain more.

For customers able to reschedule their flights, we’re still offering a fee waiver for select cities. Check our Travel Alert for the latest information about fee waivers and affected cities.

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January 1, 2014

UPDATE: New Year, New Storms!

It’s not exactly how we wanted to ring in 2014, but we’re prepping our de-icing equipment and preparing for a big winter storm soon to impact the Eastern seaboard. While we’re doing what we can to prepare, we also know that when mother nature puts her foot down, we’re going to pay attention.

Delays and cancellations as a result of slowed traffic in and out of  our Eastern cities, are likely, but we want to make sure our customers have options available to them. We will waive change/cancel fees and fare differences for customers traveling on Thursday, January 2, 2014 and Friday, January 3, 2014 to/from the following cities:

NYC Metros:

  • New York (JFK)
  • New York (LGA)
  • Newark, NJ (EWR)
  • Westchester County, NY (HPN)

Washington DC Metros:

  • Baltimore, MD (BWI)
  • Reagan National Airport (DCA)
  • Washington Dulles (IAD)

Boston Metros:

  •  Boston, MA (BOS)
  • Worcester, MA (ORH)

Providence, RI (PVD)
Newburgh, NY (SWF)
Hartford Springfield, CT (BDL)
Portland, ME (PWM)
Buffalo, NY (BUF)
Rochester, NY (ROC)
Syracuse, NY (SYR)
Pittsburgh, PA (PIT)

Customers may rebook their flights for travel through Sunday, January, 9, 2014 prior to the departure of their originally scheduled flight. Customers with cancelled flights may also opt for a refund. Original travel must have been booked on or before Tuesday, December 31, 2013.

To rebook travel or request a refund online, click here. For further assistance please call us at 1-800-JETBLUE(538-2583).

If you’re still planning on traveling though, we encourage you to check the status of your flight online prior to leaving for the airport. Got a smart phone? You may want to sign up for notifications with our JetBlue App.

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December 24, 2013

“Fly it Forward” and make the Holiday Season a little brighter for others

Many people are traveling this week to visit friends and family. While enjoying time with loved ones, we encourage all to take a moment and find ways to “Fly it Forward” and make the Holiday Season a little brighter for others.

Our mission is to Inspire Humanity both in the ground and on the ground. Each day, our 15,000 crewmembers provide award-winning customer service (exemplified by our nine consecutive JD Power Award). Our crewmembers also bring a little humanity to the various communities we live in and serve.

During the season of gratitude, we’d like to thank our crewmembers for their volunteer work. In 2013, more than 975 crewmembers volunteered a total of 58,832 hours to over 851 charities and non-profits throughout the U.S. Caribbean and Latin America. These dedicated crewmembers truly inspire others to take positive action to change their local communities.

Our crewmembers volunteer for a variety of causes including Shane Bennett who coaches his neighborhood junior football team in New York , Sandee Brown who volunteers with the Special Olympics in Los Angeles, Donnie Todd who volunteers with the Jimmy Fund in Boston and Christian Brice who regularly works with the Cancer Society of the Bahamas, to name a few. Also, many stations volunteer as teams, including our Dallas/Fort Worth team which supports the Make a Wish foundation. They see service as an opportunity to improve team work and service excellence.

How do you chip in and make a difference?  Tweet @JetBlue and tell us what organizations and causes are important to you using #IChipInFor. You could win $1,000 for the charity of your choice. (Terms and conditions apply)


Want to volunteer or give and not sure where to go? There are a variety of causes in need of support this Holiday season. During the season of giving, TrueBlue members can donate points to more than two million causes and charities. Points will be converted to cash to benefit the non-profit of your choice. True Giving, a unique enhancement to the airline’s TrueBlue customer loyalty program, provides members with an alternate way to use their points. Customers now have the choice to redeem their points for future travel or donate them to benefit others. Points can be donated locally or globally to millions of causes at Truegiving.jetblue.com.

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December 24, 2013

Fly It Forward


We decided to lift up a few spirits this holiday season by helping some unsuspecting people get home to their loved ones. Come along for the ride! #FlyItForward


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December 22, 2013

How We Fly the Holiday Season

FINAL Holiday Infographic

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December 20, 2013

At JetBlue, We Encourage Students to Keep Their Heads in the Clouds!

The sky is literally the limit for aviation students. Tuesday at JFK’s T5, we celebrated the launch of the JetBlue Foundation. Students from Aviation High School, York College, and SUN ‘n FUN were all in attendance and enjoyed the T5 experience, complete with a tour of our Ops Center and Control Tower. At the event, we issued each organization a $25,000 grant.

No other airline has gone on record to build a foundation solely focused on supporting aviation education. The JetBlue Foundation, a company-sponsored initiative to encourage and advance aviation-related education, will continue our efforts to place aviation top-of-mind as a career choice for students by igniting interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs.  This year, the JetBlue Foundation provided three $25,000 grants to schools and educational alliances focusing on STEM and aviation-related programs geared towards underserved groups and communities.

JetBlue Foundation 2013 grant recipients include:

  • Aviation High School (Long Island City, NY): Aviation High School, the nation’s largest public aeronautical high school, will use its grant to launch an Aviation Welding Improvement Plan to ensure students have the resources to earn an FAA certification as an Aircraft Maintenance Technician. This includes purchasing the advanced technologies and materials needed to prepare students for today’s job market. Over 2,300 students, primarily from under-represented groups, attend Aviation High School.

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  • CUNY Aviation Institute at York College (Jamaica, NY): With this grant, York College will develop a curriculum to establish an FAA-approved Aircraft Dispatcher Certification program, making it the first public education institution in New York to offer this type of program. More than 82% of the student population is from under-represented groups and 66% of the undergraduate student body is women.

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  • SUN ‘n FUN (Lakeland, FL): SUN ‘n FUN, a nonprofit organization, will use its grant to further their mission to preserve and enhance the future of flight by purchasing tools and educational items for powerplant mechanic students at Central Florida Aerospace Academy, a high school located in Lakeland, Florida. Students from Traviss Career Center, a vocational training facility, as well as Polk State College will also use these items for STEM-focused education.

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The JetBlue Foundation plans to build lasting relationships with these programs beyond the initial grants including mentoring, in-kind support, internships and more. The airline already has an extensive relationship with Aviation High School (AHS).  Hundreds of JetBlue crewmembers, including 80+ Technicians, received their start at Aviation High School. JetBlue is also a PENCIL partner with AHS. Several JetBlue senior leaders work with school officials including JetBlue’s CEO Dave Barger who is currently working with administrators at AHS through PENCIL.  PENCIL connects business leaders and public school administrators to inspire innovation and improve student achievement.

The airline also works with CUNY Aviation Institute at York College to emphasize STEM initiatives with a focus on encouraging women to pursue careers in aviation. Last year JetBlue organized a special charter flight to the SUN ‘n FUN International Fly-in & Expo in Lakeland, Florida. The airline welcomed students from schools in New York and Florida with a strong focus on STEM education for a tour of a JetBlue aircraft and to interact with crewmembers during the week-long expo for active pilots and aviation enthusiasts. A group of crewmembers also joined and shared the day with students and aviation enthusiasts from across the country.

To learn more about the JetBlue Foundation, visit www.jetblue.com/inspiringhumanity.

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December 17, 2013

Tips for Traveling With Your Elderly Loved One This Holiday Season

The holidays are a time for families who may be spread across the country to gather and celebrate. Or maybe it’s a time to slip away and enjoy a vacation. Whatever your holiday plans are, air travel with your elderly parent or loved one can pose a challenge.

Today, Austin Kiliham from Caring.com, the leading online destination for caregivers seeking information and support as they care for aging parents, spouses, and other loved ones provides  10 tips to help you plan ahead and make your trip easier more comfortable, and most importantly safe for both of you.

Talk to the doctor.

Talk to your loved one’s doctor to let him/her know that you are planning to fly in the near future. Ask if a check-up is advised to make sure your loved one is healthy enough to travel.

Plan for low stress.

Plan your flight itinerary to be as low impact as possible. Multiple layovers mean more stress, so consider direct flights whenever possible.

Make any special requests when making your reservations.

Ask about expedited boarding and whether you need proof of medical conditions to receive this service. Consider your seating options as well. Aisle seating may be preferable, as it is easier to maneuver. Or you may want to reserve Even More Space for extra legroom.

Also, this is the time to request a wheelchair; you want to be sure the airline has one on hand upon your arrival at the airport. Be sure to ask for one to be ready at your final destination as well. If you’ve forgotten to ask before you reach the airport, however, don’t worry; you can ask for one when you reach the check-in counter.

Even if your loved one doesn’t usually use a wheelchair, they can be helpful when you have to navigate long airport corridors, or when you’re in a rush and carrying baggage. Some airports also provide electric carts to help passengers get to their gates.

 [JetBlue has a dedicated team to help support customers with special assistance. Be sure to check the Special Needs section on jetblue.com for more information]

Prepare prescriptions.

Pack any prescriptions and over-the-counter medications you may need in a carry-on bag instead of putting it in your checked luggage. That way you can keep track of it yourself, making sure that it’s easily accessible during the flight and when you land. Carry pills in their original prescription bottles, and make sure you have the contact information for your loved one’s doctors.

Alert security.

Tell officials in the security lines about any medical equipment, such as pacemakers, hearing aids, or metal surgical implants, which might require your loved one to go through alternative security checkpoints.

Wear loose clothing.

Unconstricting clothes make travel more comfortable and encourage blood circulation while on long flights. Also, slip-on shoes are suggested.

Drink plenty of fluids.

This is the number-one airplane travel tip from doctors. The low humidity on airplanes can easily lead to dehydration, and the best way to combat that is not only drinking plenty of water while you’re in the air but before and after the flight as well. You may want to steer clear of caffeinated or alcoholic beverages, which are diuretics and can further dehydrate you.

Staying hydrated wards off jet lag and helps your immune system, keeping the mucus membranes in your nose and throat moist and better equipped to fight germs. Carry an empty water bottle with you and fill it after you’ve passed through security, or once you’re through security buy a large bottle of water to take with you on the plane.

Carry snacks.

A supply of snacks is a quick hunger fix and ensures that there is something to eat when it’s time for your loved one to take his or her medication.

 [JetBlue offers free snacks and drinks on board, but if our offerings aren't what you had in mind, feel free to bring your own]

Stay moving.

While seated during long flights, it’s important to wiggle legs and feet  often to increase blood circulation and keep joints feeling limber. Sitting for long periods of time has been associated with blood clots, especially in people with poor circulation. You can take mini exercise breaks by standing, walking in the aisle, or stretching and shaking your arms and legs. Talk to your loved one’s doctor about compression stockings, which can help with circulation. Otherwise, avoid tight stockings and socks.

Hang back.

After your arrival, you may wish to let other passengers exit the plane before you and your loved one disembark. Hanging back will keep you from being jostled by travelers in a rush and give flight attendants the chance to help your loved one while you gather yourself and collect your carry-on baggage.

Austin Kiliham is an author at Caring.com, The site a great place to learn about 10 preboarding secrets to staying healthy when you fly, senior care options, and long-distance caregiving.

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December 16, 2013

‘Twas the Night Before a JetBlue Flight

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‘Twas the night before holiday travel, when all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring, not even the click of a mouse.
The boarding passes were printed near the laptop with care,
In hopes that their trip soon would be there.

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The children were nestled, all snug in their beds,
While visions of free Terra® Blues chips danced in their heads.
And Mama on her iPhone®, the Android on Dad’s lap,
Had just settled in to download the JetBlue app.

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When out of the blue, they heard some strange chatter,
They turned up the TV to see what was the matter.
An anchorman said, “It’s a holiday dash –
All airports are crowded, get there in a flash!”

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The TrueBlue family was ready, despite all the snow,
They gathered their bags, even with hours to go.
When at the airport, their tired eyes did appear,
Helpful JetBlue crewmembers, full of holiday cheer!

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With first checked bags free1 and service so lively and quick,
They knew in a moment this wasn’t a trick.
Correct documents in hand, the security line came,
Travelers whistled and shouted and called each other mean names:
“Now, slow poke! Now, hotshot! Now move it, and fast!”
(Off sneakers! Off belt! Off jackets at last!)

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The TSA called out, “Lumps of coal aren‘t allowed!”
With TSA Precheck, they could‘ve avoided the crowd.
They patiently waited, although eager to fly,
With kindness and holiday spirit, always in mind.
Once at the gate, ‘twas no longer a race,
Just waiting to hear, “Boarding Even More Space!”

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And then in a twinkling, it was time to load up,
Each row was called nicely, and nobody cut.
The family sat down and stretched themselves out,
Using devices gate-to-gate gave no reason to pout.

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The plane took off and soared thousands of feet,
Then came unlimited snacks – including holiday treats!
EatUp boxes looked tempting, so that’s what they chose,
They sat back and relaxed, and watched all of their shows.

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The kids, Cartoon Network, while mom watched her sports,
Papa chose Bravo and housewives, of course.
Then the captain came on, and said with such might,
“Happy holidays to all, and to all a good flight!”

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 1First bag free subject to exceptions for itineraries including flights marketed or operated by other airlines.

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